Home » Articles » Volume 45 » Issue 3 » Court Opinions » Ninth Circuit » Drakes Bay Oyster Co. v. Jewell (No. 13-15227, 2013)


Drakes Bay Oyster Co. v. Jewell (No. 13-15227, 2013)


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Summary [1]

The panel affirmed the district court’s order denying a preliminary injunction challenging the Secretary of the Interior’s discretionary decision to let Drakes Bay Oyster Company’s permit for commercial oyster farming at Point Reyes National Seashore expire on its own terms.

Drakes Bay sought a preliminary injunction, arguing that the Secretary’s decision to let the permit expire violated the authorization in the Department of the Interior Appropriations Act (“Section 124”), the National Environmental Policy Act, and various federal regulations.

The panel held that it had jurisdiction to review whether the Secretary violated any legal mandate contained in Section 124 or elsewhere, but that it lacked jurisdiction to review the Secretary’s ultimate discretionary decision whether to issue a new permit.

The panel held that Drakes Bay was not likely to succeed in proving that the Secretary violated constitutional, statutory, regulatory, or other legal mandates or restrictions.

The panel further held that Drakes Bay was not entitled to a preliminary injunction not only because it failed to raise a serious question about the Secretary’s decision, but also because it had not shown that the balance of equities weighed in its favor.

Judge Watford dissented because he would hold that Drakes Bay was likely to prevail on its claim that the Secretary’s decision was arbitrary, capricious, or otherwise not in accordance with law. Judge Watford would hold that injunctive relief preserving the status quo should have been granted.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1.  This summary constitutes no part of the opinion of the court. It has been prepared by court staff for the convenience of the reader.
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